Monthly Archives: June 2012

How to protect the ocean and yourself by enjoying local organic produce

It’s common knowledge that repeated exposure to the pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers often found on grocery store produce can be harmful to your health, but did you know that those chemicals affect sea life (and seafood) too? Pesticides that flush from farm fields down waterways into the ocean accumulate in fish – especially those in near-shore coastal areas and estuaries. The Food and Drug Administration warns that repeated exposure to seafood contaminated with pesticides poses a human health hazard. Now that it’s peak produce season, there’s a lot of buzz about how to pick the best fruits and veggies – and what kinds of pesticides and other chemicals might be on them. That little “organic” sticker can mean a bigger price tag, so sometimes it’s nice to be able to prioritize what to buy organic based on which fruits and veggies carry the highest pesticide risk. …
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Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Seeks Public Comment on Future Boundaries and Regulations

Today is the last day for the public to submit comments that could play a critical role in redefining the boundaries of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.…
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Scotland Works to Protect its Marine Ecosystems

By Mera McGrew Scotland is taking steps to protect its rich marine ecosystem by creating a network of Marine Protected Areas (MPA). Scotland is just one of many jurisdictions seeking to protect their ocean heritage — Over the past few weeks Mission Blue has reported on both Australia and California planning to expand their own ocean sanctuaries. As for Scotland, the government’s Scottish Natural Heritage has begun discussions with various stakeholders to come up with a final outline for the MPA network Local ocean advocates say the discussions are a chance to expand protections to Seabirds, bottle-nosed dolphins and Minke whales, all of which are not included in the current plan. “Scotland’s seas are home to some of the most important habitats in northern Europe, we have enough scientific evidence to support this and we should be showcasing these species, instead of side-lining them,” Sarah Dolman, an executive with Scotland’s Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, told the BBC.…
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Seeking the Micro, Scientists Find the Big Picture

Founder of Mission Blue and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, Dr. Sylvia Earle and biologist and author Dr. E.O. Wilson were on yesterdays National Public Radio’s midday news-show “Talk of the Nation.”  The two took listeners into the field, discussed what they have learned over the years and the future they see in biology and marine studies. If you missed the show, click HERE to listen to the full story. …
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A Sea Turtle Swims Free

By Dr. Wallace J. Nichols Fifteen years ago the hawksbill sea turtle pictured would have been hog-tied, whisked hundreds of miles, slaughtered and carved into trinkets. Today, he swam free. On Baja’s Pacific coast, an adult male hawksbill sea turtle found its way into a fisherman’s net. In the past, for the fisherman anyway, such a thing would have been considered a stroke of good luck. The endless demand for turtle meat, eggs, skin and shell on the black market can provide a nice payday to anyone willing to endure the low-level risk of being caught. Hawksbill turtles, once common, are now increasingly rare due to decades of being hunted for their beautiful shells, which get carved into combs, broaches, and other adornments.…
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The World’s Smallest Marine Sanctuary Gets a Little Bigger

The final management plan for the Fagatele (pronounced fung’-a-tell-ee) National Marine Sanctuary in American Samoa has been released. The plan updates the original 1984 management plan that the sanctuary has been operating under and expands the 0.25 square mile sanctuary by adding five distinct geographical reef areas. The areas that have been incorporated into the sanctuary include Larsen Bay, as well as waters around the Rose Atoll (Swains Island and Luliava) and the Aunu’u and Ta’u Islands. Located in American Samoa off the southwest coast of Tutuila Island, Fagatele Bay is the smallest and most remote of all the national marine sanctuaries. Despite its small size, Fagatele Bay is thought to support the greatest diversity of marine life in the National Marine Sanctuary system.…
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IUCN on the Outcomes of Rio+20

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 22 June 2012 (IUCN) — Governments are leaving the UN’s Sustainable Development Summit (Rio +20) with a big deal but little action. Groups of civil society and business have proved they can lead the way towards a sustainable future. “It’s a relief that the outcomes of Rio+20 refer to some basic issues of planetary survival – removing poverty and reviving nature’s health,” says IUCN Director General Julia Marton-Lefèvre. “I’m pleased to see that nature based solutions for the problems facing poor people, forests, oceans and water were firmly on the agenda. It’s only by investing in nature that we can create a green economy and a sustainable future for everyone.” “But the deal signed here in Rio lays out aspirations rather than specific mandatory goals on issues like food security, water and energy.…
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Ocean Advocates Find Silver Linings After Rio+20 Disappointment

By Brian Clark Howard In an email to National Geographic News from Rio de Janeiro, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Sylvia Earle said of the ongoing UN Conference on Sustainable Development, “Concerning oceans, there is reason to suggest that the outcomes could be characterized as Rio+20 minus 40.” Earle’s words sum up the buzz in the halls of Riocentro—the massive suburban conference center that has hosted tens of thousands of delegates, activists, and journalists this week—as well as among the thousands of protesters that have taken the streets around the Marvelous City. Still, Earle pointed out, “It is not all bad news, just discouraging to hear the French ambassador say that the will of 183 countries concerning developing a framework for governance of the high seas had come unglued owing to opposition from a small number of powerful countries.” Earle is referring to the United States, Russia, Canada, and Venezuela in particular, who,according to reports, moved to block specific rulemaking on environmental protections in international waters during late-night, closed-door negotiations earlier this week.…
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Sylvia Earle’s clear message: Act now to save our oceans

Courtesy of Oceans Inc. June 21, 2012 Speaking at a roundtable with world governments in the Rio+20 process, world renowned oceanographer Sylvia Earle urged world leaders to act now to save our oceans. “I was here 20 years ago, we all hope to be here in 20 years. This is an historical occasion. Will we look back and lament on what we didn’t do?” “For the first time we are empowered with knowledge we didn’t have 20,50 or 1000 years ago. This could be a true turning point, whether we act on that knowledge or neglect to take action. Technology and science make it clear our planet is not too big to fail. There are limits to our life support system.…
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Ocean Dialogues – Taking a Moment for the Fish

Dr. Earle shared with us a moment from the Ocean Dialogues of June 19th in Rio. “One panelist, concerned that fishing interests were under-represented, asked that anyone in the audience who made their living as a fisherman to stand up. No one did, and he made his point.  So I asked if all of the fish in the audience would please stand up.  We were determining their fate, after all, but I didn’t see them at the table. Only on the table. Later, the fish-man and I shook hands and agreed that we need to listen to both the fishermen and the fish.”  …
Posted in Dr. Sylvia Earle, Earth Summit, High Seas Alliance, high seas MPAs, Rio Plus 20 | 1 Comment